Cameroon — Paul Obambi, a billionaire investor in the Congo Republic, is in talks with French lenders to fund a railway he’s building to export iron ore. Obambi’s company Sapro is negotiating with "a consortium of banks" to finance the 450km track that will link the south-western town of Mayoko to a port at Pointe Noire, he said in a phone interview from Paris on Tuesday. Construction is expected to start next year and be completed by 2022, he said, without saying how much it would cost. Sapro operates an iron-ore project at Mayoko, acquired from SA-based Exxaro Resources in 2016. Exxaro sold the enterprise after failing to secure port and rail agreements with the Congolese government, booking a R5.76bn writedown in the process. Since buying Exxaro’s operations for $350m, Sapro has invested $550m in Mayoko, which produced 3-million tonnes of iron ore last year, Obambi said. Exports of the steel-making ingredient helped Sapro generate a $1.5m profit last year from output at Mayoko. "...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.